The Sonaugi

Kath-Kuni Himalayan Architecture

In its earlier avatar, the house had an adjacent built-in kitchen. It has now been replaced by two modern rooms. A few steps below the main house, is a Himalayan-style lounge, or Dhunna. It is a sit-down with a fire-place in the middle and an attached kitchen. In the old Ashrams, the Dhunna was a hangout around a fireplace where everyone converged, whether from within the hermitage or without. That included the Guru as well as the Chelas and strangers – travellers who found sanctuary there for the night. It is possible that many significant texts in our ancient, oral tradition were first articulated around the Dhunna.

Eris is easily among the most important (and unsung) contemporary exponents of the Kath-Kuni construction style also known professionally around the world as the Cator & Cribbage style. Eris has been building around the world (Australia, Europe & Latin Americas) in this style. He recently moved back to Italy and is reportedly pursuing the Himalayan construction style on the Dolomites somewhere.

The wood-stone construction is the age-old local earthquake-proof architecture in the higher Himalayas along the Beas & Sutlej valleys. There are houses in the region which have been around for 200 years. No Deodar trees have been cut for the construction. The wood has been re-cycled from old houses and uprooted trees.

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